Commission Gets to Grips with EU Bird Flu

EU - The Animal Health and Welfare Panel have released their opinion on important aspects of avian influenza and the risk of its introduction into the EU poultry holdings.
calendar icon 12 June 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Following a request from the Commission, the AHAW panel was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the animal health and welfare aspects of Avian Influenza and the risk of its introduction into the EU poultry holdings.

The Commission was also asked to update, consolidate and summarise the main conclusions and recommendations from previous EFSA opinions influenza between the years of 2005 and 2007, analysing it in the light of new scientific evidence available.

The panel have also provided scientific advice and assess risk factors for the introduction and spread of avian influenza into poultry holdings in the EU, aiming to support a possible fine-tuning of current prevention and biosecurity measures taken by the Member States.

The new findings of the report included a phylogenetic analyses of strains from EU Member States indicating that all H5N1 viruses detected in the EU in poultry and wild birds since 2006 were closely related, belonging to clade 2.2 and 2.3.

The use of phylogeny can advise on the source of infection, but it is not possible in all circumstances to be definitive about the likely source of an introduction.

Concerning the pathogenesis and the transmission of AIV, the main conclusions were that although fecal-oral infection chains govern the transmission of AIV, accumulating evidence indicates that H5N1 virus may be excreted at higher concentrations from the respiratory tract of birds as compared to LPAI viruses. This has important consequences for sampling methodologies to detect HPAI H5N1. Although there is no evidence for aerosol transmission of H5N1 virus, this transmission route cannot be excluded within short distances.

Further Reading

More information - You can view the full report by clicking here.
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